OntarioGenWeb
Part of CanadaGenWeb
Return To Main Page |
County & District GenWebs |
FAQ |
Need Help? |
Volunteer |
Research |
Submissions |
What’s New to OntarioGenWeb?
Prominent People and Families of Ontario

Prominent People & Families is a listing of prominent Ontarians. Some were prominent within their communities, others achieved national recognition. Regardless of how they came to be known they're important to some because they were kin or an inspiration.

Below are a few Prominent people and families with roots in Ontario. If you have any in your family tree, or know of any that should be listed, please send in the info!


E-mail Message Box (Click here to paste the e-mail address of the person you wish to contact)



ADAIR David - First Clerk of Clinton Township
1793-1803 Beamsville, Clinton Township
David Adair (1734-1811) came to Canada with his wife (Abigail) and three children about 1788 from New Jersey. In 1791 he was granted land in Nassau District, Province of Quebec (later Niagara District of Upper Canada). In his letter of reference when David applied for land Nathaniel Pettit described him as"an industrious, honest workman who had suffered losses during the war". The Beamsville Express reported that for each year from 1793 until 1803 David was elected Town Clerk of Clinton Township. From 1806 until 1811 he was succeeded in the position by his son, John Adair, who had also immigrated to Canada from New Jersey - a little later than his father.
Contact: Marilyn Adair  Marilyn.Adair@sympatico.ca


ALLEN Thomas - Alderman & Brewer
1800-1890?
Thomas was an Alderman and well known brewer. Had son named Oliver Henry Allen
Contact: Mike Roscoe  roscoe@trinet.bc.ca


ANDERSON Murray - First Mayor of London, Ontario
1814-1898 Middlesex Co
born 9 Jan 1814 at Niagara Falls; died 5 Mar 1898 at London. The son of Charles Anderson of Stamford (fought in Battle of Lundy's Lane), and the grandson of Col. Peter Anderson a Loyalist, Murray Anderson was the first Mayor of London, Middlesex County, Ontario.
Contact: Jessie Anderson  jayandy@voicenet.com


BAKER George William - Postmaster and Magistrate in Ottawa
Ottawa, Carleton Co
Godfrey Phipps Baker, succeeded his father George William Baker as Postmaster about 1857
Contact: Bruce Varcoe  BruceVarcoe@Webtv.net


BALLENTINE - Early settlers of Erin Twp, Wellington Co
1850's Wellington County
Solid Citizens & One of the first residents of Erin Twp, Wellington Co. Cleared land in 1850
Contact: L.Ballentine  lballen@orc.ca


BARKER Aileen Ross - Secretary to the Mayor of Toronto
approx. 1928-1932 Toronto, York Co

Contact: Linda O'Halloran  ohalljp@indigo.ie


BARNES Al G. - Circus Owner
1862 Lobo, Middlesex County
The well-known circus owner of the Pacific coast, Al G. Barnes, died July 25, at his ranch in Indio, California. He was 68 years of age. He had been ill for most of the past year, pneumonia and complications being given as the cause. His right name was Alpheus George Barnes Stonehouse. He was born in Lobo, Ontario, Canada, September 1, 1862. He was married three times and is survived by all three, Mrs. Dollie Barnes, Mrs. Jane Barnes, and Mrs. Margaret Goldsboro Barnes who at his death was at his bedside, he having married her last December. Two daughters and a son by his second wife also survive. He also has a sister, Mrs. Lydia Bishop. His circus career was spectacular. He built up a well known circus and wild animals show in which he introduced no few novelties and original stunts, many of which are now incorporated in other shows. With Dolly Barlow, who later became his first wife, he started a small wagon show in Glenwood Springs, Calif., in 1895. A pony and picture machine, then new, featured that show. His boyhood was spent on a farm. He built it up to as large as a thirty car railroad show. For the most part he always operated in the West but ten or so years ago he ventured across the Mississippi River and played the East. In January, 1929, he sold out to the American Circus Corporation. In September that year they in turn included the Barnes circus with the others that they sold to John Ringling. Ringling now operates the Barnes title. Barnes took part in his own shows up to the time he sold out. He appeared in opening on "Tusko", the huge elephant he featured. (Taken from Article in White Tops Circus Magazine - September, 1931)
Contact:  


BELL William Rev. - Pioneer Presbyterian Clergyman
1817-1857 Perth Co
Rev. William Bell was a pioneer Presbyterian clergyman who kept daily diaries of his travels around the countryside of Lanark Co. and as far as Richmond, Bytown, Kingston, Montreal and York. In order to finance the education in Scotland of his eldest son, Andrew, he composed a pamphlet entitled "Hints to Emigrants" which was published in Scotland as an aid to prospective emigrants to Canada. His diaries are kept at Queen's University, which he helped establish and from which his son George was one of the first graduates and who later became registrar of Queens. His twin sons William and John operated stores in Perth and Carleton Place and during the liquidity crisis in 1837, they printed shinplasters in various denominations which became the local currency. Rev. Bell's observations of pioneer life in eastern Ontario are an invaluable eyewitness account of the times
Contact: Malcolm Sissons  jsissons@telusplanet.net


BETHUNE Dr Norman - Surgeon, Artist, Teacher & Political Diplomat
1890-1939 Gravenhurst
Dr Norman Bethune was a medical surgeon, artist, teacher and politcal diplomat. He was a medic in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and in China during the Sino-Japanese War. He modified or developed many medical/surgical instruments, the most noted being the mobile bloos transfusion unit while in Spain. During the last year of his life Dr Bethune worked as a medic in China during the Japanese invasion. When he died in 1939 of septicemia, he was declared a Saint, and the International Peace Hospital and the Bethune Medical Centre were established in China as a tribute to honour him by. Because of his Communist ties, the Canadian government did not recognise Dr Bethune as a hero until the early 70s.
Contact: Nicole Robson  nlrobson_99@yahoo.com


BOSWELL Arthur - Mayor of Toronto
late 1800's Toronto, York Co
Arthur and his brother, Augustus George Boswell, both married to ancestors of mine. Arthur married Ella Cruso and George married Caroline Buck. Arthur was mayor of Toronto.The Bucks and Cruso families came from Cobourg, Ontario.
Contact: Barb  johntim52@earthlink.net


BOWMAN Henery & James Henery - Innkeeper & Leader of US Labour Movement
mid 1800's Kingston, Frontenac Co
Henery Bowman and his wife, Ann Swift-Bowman, operated an Inn near Kingston for many, many years. Their son,James Henery Bowman was born in 1855 in Kingston and went on to become a leading figure in the labor movement in Chicago, IL USA. He served as leader of the American Federation of Labor. He accomplished the first successful negotiation for a nine hour work day without a strike, friction of any kind, or cost to the parties he represented. His obituary was printed in the Kingston Whig Standard, the New York Herald Tribune, the Herald Examiner, the Daily News, and the Chicago Tribune amongst others.
Contact: Margaret Gray  droim@aol.com


BRISTOW Edward - Founder of Elmira, Woolwich Twp, Waterloo Co & Shipley, Wallace Twp, Perth Co
1832-1884 Waterloo Co & Perth Co
Entrepreneur, postmaster in both communities contributing founder to Woolwich Agricultural Society and helped establish first schools in both Elmira and Shipley.
Contact: H. Roger Miller  hrmiller@golden.net


BURKE Michael Joseph - US Consul to St. Thomas & Port Stanley Ontario
1857-1905 Elgin Co
Son of Nicholas Burke (Telegrapher) Ottawa Bytowne Prescott Railway who lived in Gloucester, Ontario (Bowsville)in middle 1800's
Contact: Marc S Lowell  househistory@yahoo.com


CAMPBELL James - Lighthouse keeper
1835-1881 Goderich, Huron Co

Contact: Louise Beck  VestaLou@AOl.com


CHALLENER Frederick Sproston RCA - Painter
1883-1959 Toronto & Oshawa
Gained awards at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo in 1904 won a second bronze medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St Louis. Has works in The National Gallery of Canada and in many public buildings. Taught at the central Technical School in Toronto. Married Ethel White from Oshawa in London in 1902. Had five daughters
Contact: Christopher S Challener  christopher.challener@virgin.net


CHAPMAN Joshua - Actor
1860's-1927 Hamilton, Wentworth Co
JOSHUA CHAPMAN was a well-known actor during the second half of the 19th century. He was born in the West Indies and came with his family to Hamilton c. 1857. His father, WILLIAM MORTIMER CHAPMAN, established the first funeral home in Hamilton, where Joshua and his brother, Jesse, were trained to work. He began his acting career at a young age in Hamilton's local theatricals. Joshua was known for his range of facial expression and gift of oratory. As a professional actor, he performed in theaters throughout the America's and the UK. He is listed in several books about Hamilton's most noted citizens.
Contact: Kay Davis  Davis7777@aol.com


CLARK Family - The Clark Thread Co
1800's London-Goderich

Contact: Joyce Y. Ball  vonnie31@greatlakes.net


CLARKE Edward Frederick - Mayor & MPP
1875-1905 Toronto
E.F. Clarke was the mayor of Toronto and locall MPP from 1884-1891 and then went on to be the federal MP for the Toronto West riding undtil his sudden death in 1905. He was eulogized by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the Globe. He was one of the founders of the Sentinel newspaper in Toronto and was jailed for his role in anewspaper strike against the Globe to get better working conditions for the workers. He coordinated the building of the then new City Hall now the old City Hall and brought a more efficient business approach to managing the city's business with the use of mechanical adding machines and typerwriters in the late 1880's
Contact: Roger Clarke  r.clarke2997@rogers.com


CONGER Lt. Peter B - Mason & Bricklayer
1820-1852 Lennox & Addington Co.
Fought with the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Removed to Napanee, Ontario and married Deborah C. Williams. Two sons, Belyat and John, married the daughters of Michael Dafoe and Sarah Ackerman, Priscilla and Ellen. The Congers were prominent masons and bricklayers constructing many of the public buildings and stately homes in the Napanee area
Contact: Brandt Zätterberg  zatt@ihorizons.net


CROSSLEY George - First Magistrate in Lambton Co
1856-1912 Lambton Co
George Crossley was the first Magistrate in Lambton County being appointed in 1860. He examined minor cases in the parlour of his home (Bosanquet Twp.) and travelled on horse back to hear others
Contact: Robert Bell  rsbell@xcelco.on.ca


CRUSO Michael - Early settler
1804 Cobourg, Northumberland Co
Michael Cruso came from a respected family in Leek, Staffordshire,U.K. His father and grandfather were M.P.'s and his brothers were J.P.'s and attorneys in Leek. He was one of the early settlers in the area
Contact: Barbara Tomlin  johntim52@earthlink.net


CULVER Peter - Early settler
1816 Haldimand Co
Peter and his wife Sarah were one of the the first families to settle in Rainham Twp. Peter was a blacksmith and also surveyed a road from Rainham to Dunnville
Contact: Doug Culver  dougculver@bc.sympatico.ca


DIEFINBAKER - Known for Politics
1900 York Co

Contact: Weir  gert@ils.net


DUNN John Henry - Business Man
1820-1850
Served as Receiver General from 1820-1843 first President of the Welland Canal Company, 1824-1833 member of the Executive council of Upper Canada trustee of the general hospital member of the Board for the General Superintendence of Education president of the Upper Canadian Temperance Society Auxiliary Bible Society director of the Bank of Upper Canada. Died in London, England 1854
Contact: Elaine T. Blyden  thebob@localnet.com


EBY Benjamin - Early settler
Waterloo Co
One of the first and most influencial settlers in the kitchener/waterloo area. At one time this area was called "ebytown". This family is very extensive.
Contact: Michele Popovich  cmpopovich@home.com


EDWARDS J.W. - Member of House of Commons
1865-1929 Frontenac Co
The Honorable J.W. Edwards was a member of the House of Commons. Born 1865 in Kingston, died in 1929.
Contact: M. Foster  mfoster@rapidnet.net


FALKNER William - Early settler
1784-1803 Lancaster
William Falkner came from England with his family arround 1774. In 1776, he was imprisoned for six months for being a British Loyalist. William fled to Canada in was one of the first to settle in Lancaster, Ontario and built the first house there. For a number of years, this area was called Falkner Settlement. A bronze sign with this note remains there today. It is said that William gave Lancaster its name. As a Justice of the Peace, William helped many of the British Loyalist to write their land petitions. He died there on December 27, 1803.
Contact: Steve Day  steverd1@aol.com


FEAD James Smith - Mayor, Banker, Builder & Lawyer
1800's Orangeville, Wellington Co (now in Dufferin Co)
Mr. Fead whom was my Grandfathers brother I am told was very prominent in the Town of Orangeville.Mr Fead I am told was Mayor of the city, Banker, Builder and Lawyer. I have been trying to get all info. I can but cannot get much on his tenure as Mayor. I do understand that a street is named after him at Orangeville.
Contact: Bill Fead  bjfead@earthlink.net


FENTON John E - First reeve of Bytown (renamed Ottawa) City clerk in 1850s.
1830-late 1800's Bytown (Ottawa), Carleton Co

Contact: Karyn DeVinny Olson  olsonkd@aol.com


FINLAY John (MP) - Founder of Finley Carriage Co; Politician
1837-1910 Norwood, Peterborough Co
Founded the Finlay Carriage Co.with factories in Norwoo and Tweed. Member of Parliament Dominion of Canada. Liberal under Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Sat on same bench as Sir Wilfrid. Manufactured and exported wheels and hubs supplying Canadian & American carriage manufacturers such as the Maclaughlin Carriage Co.Oshawa & others in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces
Contact: J. Graham Finlay M.D.  adamatilda@webtv.net


FLEMING Oscar Ernest - First Mayor of Windsor
1861-1942 Windsor, Essex Co
First promoter of the St. lawrence Seaway. First Mayor of the City of Windsor.
Contact: Philip Gross  philipgross@home.com


GIBBONS Joseph Patrick - Toronto Street Railway Union Agent, Alderman, Contoller and City Hydro Commisioner
1864-1946 Toronto
Called the "Champion of Taxpayers" by Toronto Daily Star in obituary. Born in Wellesley Twp. in 1864, Died in Toronto 17 Feb 1946
Contact: Thomas J. Hunter  tjhunter@travel-net.com


GIBSON Barnabus - Union Station, Toronto, General Contactor
Mid-late 1800's Toronto

Contact: Patricia Tohill  ptohill@kingston.jkl.net


GOLDSMITH - Early settlers
1786 Kingston, Frontenac Co
Pioneer family in Kingston, Frontenac County
Contact: fetler@aol.com  fetler@aol.com


GREENE Samuel Thomas - First deaf teacher in Ontario; Co-founder of the Ontario Deaf-Mute Association
1870-1890 Belleville, Hastings Co
Mr. Greene's name has been memorialized in many ways -- in a burial monument (with his surname carved in the manual alphabet), in a school portrait, a street name, a residential school building, and an historical plaque erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation. He was the province's first Deaf teacher when the Ontario Institution for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (later renamed the Ontario School for the Deaf in 1913, and again, the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in 1974) opened in Belleville in October 1870. He was also the co-founder of the Ontario Deaf-Mute Association (now the Ontario Association of the Deaf) in 1886. More information about him and his family can be found at http://www.cgocable.net/~ccarbin/greene.html
Contact: Clifton F. Carbin  ccarbin@cgocable.net


GREXTON Francis - Early settler
1796-1891 Midland
born 1796, Ireland, died ~1891, Midland, Ontario. He was one of the earliest landowners in Bytown (later Ottawa). He moved to Elmira in Nov, 1828 after living in Bytown. Bytown was first established in 1826
Contact: Wayne Harrison  wayneh@mb.sympatico.ca


GWYNNE Horace (Lefty) - Olympian
1914-2000 Toronto
First Canadian to win Gold Medal in Boxing 1932
Contact: ed ward  ecwhaulage@yahoo.ca


HAGERMAN Christopher Alexander - Member of the First King's Council
1812-1830's Kingston, Frontenac Co & Toronto, York Co
Lieut. in the war of 1812. member of 1st King's Council in Upper Canada (1815). Lawyer (for the defendants in the famous types trial-(1826)
Contact: Marg Hunter  hunter@total.net


HALLAM John - Alderman & Founder of the Free Library Act
1833-1900 Toronto
John Hallam was an alderman for 22 years for Toronto, longer than any recorded person. Born in Chorley, Lancashire, English Oct. 12, 1833. Died Toronto June 21, 1900.Born of 'free operatives in a cotten mill'. Founder of the 'Free Library Act' in Ontario which came about by his total lack of free education as a child in England. . No free librarys before that time. Hallam St. in Toronto, Hallam section in Metro Toronto Library, gift of chimes (bells) to Old City Hall, they still ring today!
Contact: Val Courneyea  vcourneye@netcompass.net


HESS Samuel - Land and business owners in Hamilton in 1800s
About 1780-1960 Hamilton, Wentworth Co

Contact: Meredith McKinney  JMckin7245@aol.com


HILLS James Jerome - Railway Magnate & Philanthropist
c1850 Northern Ontario
James Jerome HILL was born in Northern Ontario. I do not know when he moved to the States, but he was a Canadian. He was a railroad magnate, building his own railroad in the United States, and also built the Kettle Valley Railroad in B.C. He was involved in some way with the building of one either the CPR or the CNR. He was a philanthropist, giving money for Christian Schools, and also for the J.J. HILLS LIBRARY in St. Paul Minn. He was a Canadian, being born in our country. He at one time had his own Ship Line, beginning a trade roue with China, and Asia, discovering that they could make excellent railway ties for his railroad. He had a vision far ahead of the men of his days, and was a great impliment in settling the northern States with pioneers
Contact: Pat Bell  Pat_Bell@bc.sympatico.ca


HUNT Charles - Soldier
1833-1919 Algoma District
Charles Hunt served in Sevastopol at 17 years of age. He also served in Balaklava, Alma Heights, and Inkerman with the 9th company, 1st battalion of the rifle brigade under Capt. Oxenden, Major Lord, George Alex Russell, Lieut-Col. Sir Ed. Somerset and Col. Sir Wm. Northcott.
    On the signing of peace in 1856, Mr. Hunt received his discharge from the army and shortly after left England for America. After many varied experiences he finally settled in Rydal Bank Ontario, Canada in the year 1863, being one of the first settlers in the district. He made his home there until his death on April 27th, 1919, at 86 years of age. He is buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery (C3L2) on Hwy. 168 north of Rydal Bank adjacent to the Old Humphry gravel Pit along with his wife Emily (Robinson) and their son Leonard Charles.
    Mr. Hunt was granted land. S/W Part of Concession 1 (patent) (not free grant) 113 acres in Plummer Township. Registered on Oct. 12,1877.
Contact: Leonard Charles Hunt  ihunt@cgocable.net


IRELAND John - Early settler
Burlington
Burlington. Helped settle the area of Burlington, found & build the church and their home is a museum
Contact: Nancy Ireland Carroll  jcarroll1@stny.rr.com


JACKSON Erastus - Mayor, Publisher, and Reeve in Newmarket
1829-1919 Newmarket

Contact: D.R. Jackson  djax@jacksonpublications.com


JENKINS James F. - Newspaper publisher and first black juvenile court judge
1883-1930 London

Contact: Lynne Collins  lynnecollins@hotmail.com


KEENAN Thomas - Founder of Keenansville; Mayor of Lindsay
1830s-1880s Victoria Co
Founded the town of Keenansville (no longer there) was Mayor of Lindsay and owned several businesses and quite a bit of land in Lindsay. He is mentioned several times in Watson Kirkconnells book The History of Victoria County
Contact: Elise Lonnee  Emlon@aol.com


KERR John - Fishery Minister
1850's Hamilton, Wentworth Co
John Kerr fishery mister here in 1850's or later
Contact: Patricia D. hall  snowstorm93@hotmail.com


KING Samuel & Stephen - Doctor and businessman
1850-1927 Hamilton, Wentworth Co

Contact: Meredith McKinney  JMckin7245@aol.com


KIRKPATRICK Sir George A. - Lt Governor of Ontario
1892-1897 Kingston
Sir George Airy Kirkpatrick was the seventh Lt. Governor of Ontario
Contact: Ambrose Kirkpatrick  orei2301@sprint.ca


KOLFAGE John Gottlieb - First Mayor of Amherstburg, Essex County in 1878.
1878 Essex Co

Contact: June Kolfage Moore  lewmoo@vision.net.au


LENNOX E.J. - Builder
1892 Toronto
E.J.Lennox was called master builder ...builder of Toronto...he built Toronto's old city Hall and Casa Loma Stables St. Paul's Anglican church .Massey mausoleum, Mount Pleasant Cemetery and othe fine buildings
Contact: donnie peters(lennox)  yargo@home.com


LESLIE/LASHLEY Rev. George - Methodist Preacher
1820-1888 Lanark Co
Rev. George Leslie was a farmer and Methodist preacher. He preached in Glasgow, Scotland and m.Mary Virtue, dau. of Col. John Virtue, and early settler in Lanark Co. Rev. Lashley came to Lanark about 1822, and secured land thru his father-in-law in Dalhousie Township. His daughter, Mary Leslie m. 1) David Crooks (d. 1850) and 2) Mr. Crawford. She was a school teacher from 1850-1866.
Contact: Christine Tomlin  SMTomlin@aol.com


MACKAY - 1st Canadian missionary to go to Formosa
1800's Toronto

Contact: Leslie Gist  lgist@idigital.net


MATTHEWS David - Established a Post Office
1862 Perth Co
In 1862 David Matthews established the first post office in the Village of Poole, Mornington Township, Perth, Ontario. It was located about 13 miles north of Stratford. David Matthews, was the postmaster, general dealer in dry goods, groceries etc. and the proprieter of the Poole Hotel
Contact: Lynn Matthews  lyngwyn@cogeco.ca


MCGUIRE Blaney & William - Newspaper Founders
1860's-1930's Orangeville, Wellington Co (now in Dufferin Co) & Tillsonburg, Oxford Co
Brothers Blaney & William McGuire were the founders of two newspapers. Younger brother Blaney founded 'The Orangeville Banner' and older brother William founded 'The Tilsonburg Liberal'.
Contact: Sherri Pettit  genealogy@geneofun.on.ca


MCLELLAN Thomas E - Reeve Mayor of Galt
1910 Galt, Wellington Co
reeve Mayor of Galt 1910 proprietor of McLellan's Pharmacy on Main Street registrar of Ontario College of Pharmacy at time of death in 1933. His grandparents Angus and Catherine McCormick McLellan came from the Isle of S. Uist with their family ca 1850 his parents were Paul and Mary Turnbull McLellan of Branchton
Contact: Rona Shriner  102413.2060@compuserve.com


MCMICKING Thomas - Early settler
1771-1830 Niagara Region
Founded one of the first families in the Stamford/Niagara Falls area. Born in Scotland, a Loyalist during the amer. war of Independence Granted acreage by the crown. Survived numerous indian attacks and was held prisoner at Fort Niagara. Fought in the battle of Queenston Heights in 1812, as a Lieutenant. Served as county warden and an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford.
Contact: Lawrence Mc Micking  mick5@earthlink.net


METCALFE -
1829-Present Kingston, Kingston Twp, Frontenac Co
Beginning in 1829 when John Metcalfe emigrated to Kingston with the British Royal Engineers to construct the Rideau Canal, the Metcalfe family were prominent in Kingston society for many years. John Metcalfe married Gladwise Bridget Matthews in 1846 and they had four daughters & two sons. He was well-respected for his knowledge of horses and was also an insurance agent. The Metcalfe family were well-known in Kingston racing circles and owned several horses. John Charles,the youngest son, married Mary Agnes Waggoner (better known as Beauty) in 1886 and they had three children. He owned a Butcher shop for many years until his death in 1899, at which time it was taken over by his youngest son. James Henry, eldest son of John & Gladwise, was a Head Master in several of the Kingston schools 1864-1881, Commissioner of Crown Lands for Kingston & The Northern Territories 1880-1886, active in all levels of government - Frontenac Ward Alderman 1873-1878, Ontario Provincial Parliament as M.P.P. for Kingston riding 1879-1892, elected to the Federal Parliament as M.P. for Kingston riding following Sir John A. Macdonald's death 1893-1896, was a close personal friend of Sir John A., Warden of Kingston Penitentiary from 1896-1899 when he retired. James Henry married Margaret Jane Clute in 1869 and they had eleven children. There are still many descendants of John & Gladwise Metcalfe living throughout Ontario to this day.
Contact: Ruth Metcalfe-Carr  Kinvara@mts.net


MILLER John - Gaoler
1840-1929 Owen Sound
John Miller, Gaoler of the Owen Sound Gaol for 50 + years. Born 1840 in USA. Married 1865 in Owen Sound. Died 1929 in Owen Sound
Contact: Marge Parrill  parrill@rmisp.com


NORTON John (Major) 'Teyoninhokarawen' -
1770-1830 Niagara and Brant Co
Major John Norton, Teyoninhokarawen fought Niagara Campaign of 1812, 1813, 1814 with Six Nations British Allies. On April 19,1830 the Six Nations surrendered the village plot of Brantford the deed of surrender was prepared by Lewis Burwell, John Norton and Capt. John Brant, youngest son of Captain Joseph Brant. The Mohawks surrendered 807 acres as the village plot. Born in Scotland of Cherokee father, John Norton and Scotish mother, Christian Anderson?, adopted by Captain Joseph Brant and controversial figure in history of Canada.
Contact: Phyllis Knapp Peterson  Knappp@aol.com


OGILVIE William - Yukon Commissioner
1846-1912 Ottawa, Carleton Co
William Ogilvie, Commissioner of the Yukon from 1898 to 1901 during the Klondike gold rush attained this distinction because of his roots as an explorer, surveyor, administrator and natural diplomat. He was born at Glen Ogilvie, now Cyrville, near Ottawa in 1846. In 1869 at the age of 23 he began practice as an Ontario land surveyor and married Mary Ann Sparks of Ottawa in 1872, the first of two marriages. In 1887 in his capacity as a Dominion Land Surveyor he was sent by the Canadian Government to survey the boundary line between Alaska and the Yukon, a border which was to become critical during the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1897 Ogilvie surveyed the Dawson City townsite and because of his honesty and impartiality was able to settle many disputes over gold claim boundaries and fractional claims. His judgement was universally respected.
      Sir Charles Tupper stated publicly in 1897, "No man in Canada, in my judgement, is better entitled to the confidence of the government and Ottawa than William Ogilvie. Not only has he brought to his duties great intelligence and thorough, untiring industry, but his straightforwardness and honesty have today given to Canadians the most unbounded confidence in any statements he places before the country." Ogilvie was awarded a medal as a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and was the author of Early Days On The Yukon.
      The Ogilvie Mountain range, Mt. Ogilvie, a valley and glacier all in the Yukon, as well as a bridge and settlement near Dawson City and a town in Manitoba all bear the name of this distinguished surveyor and eminent Canadian.
Contact: Judy Woodley and Craig Hooper  judenorm@telus.net


PALANGIO Pete - Hockey Player
1937/8 North Bay
Pete Palangio was a professional hockey player for 17 years. Coming out of North Bay, he was well known and loved for his style of playing. His crowning achievement was winning a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1938. More information can be found in the the book: "Blades On The Bay", Craig & Craig. 1997.
Contact: Tracey Palangio  TraceyP@telus.net


PICKLES Sugden -
1900-1942
Introduced the teaching of Manual Training in Ontario at Macdonald Training College, Brockville, then at Normal Schools (teachers' colleges) in Toronto, London and Stratford
Contact: Margaret Couse  cousehouse@accglobal.net


PIRIE Alexander Fraser - Newspaper Publisher & Editor
1849-1903 Dundas, Wentworth Co
Alexander Fraser Pirie (1849-1903) was the son of George Pirie (1799-1870), the publisher and editor of the Guelph Herald. Upon George's death in 1870, A. F. Pirie managed the Herald for a few years. In 1874, as a journalist with the Toronto Sun, he originated a daily feature with light fun called the Sun Skits. This style of column was soon adopted by almost every daily Canadian newspaper. In 1876 he joined the Toronto Evening Telegram as an editorial writer under the tutelage of the intellectual Goldwin Smith. In 1877 at age 28 he became Editor-in-Chief and was widely known as the "Tall Young Man with the Powerful Mind". No other Canadian journal's editorials at this time were as often copied as his, indicating the esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries. In 1886 he was invited to participate in a symposium on Canadian prospects and politics with Sir John A. Macdonald and the Marquis of Lorne.
     He was invited to the Montreal Star as Chief Editor in 1888 and he also represented the Star for one year in the Ottawa Parliamentary Press Gallery. He acquired the Dundas Banner, an Ontario weekly newspaper, in 1889. His reputation grew and the renamed Dundas True Banner became one of the best and most widely-quoted weeklies in Canada. In 1893, as President of the Canadian Press Association, he was the CPA delegate to the World Press Conference held in Chicago. He was said to be unrivalled in his day as a public speaker and frequently spoke on public platforms on behalf of political candidates in Southern Ontario as well as Manitoba. "He is credited with more 'good things,' written or spoken, than any of his fellows" (The Globe). "He represents the best type of Canadian journalism, and is an ornament to the profession physically as well as mentally" (The Hamilton Herald).
     Upon his untimely death in 1903, The Vancouver Province stated "As a journalistic writer, Mr. Pirie had few superiors on this continent. His graceful English and delicate poetic imagination placed him in a class almost by himself among the newspaper men of Eastern Canada, and his death is a distinct loss to the profession."
     Later, Sir John Willison wrote in a series of memoirs "Insouciant, effervescent, irrepressible, Mr. Pirie was a stimulating companion and a delightful after-dinner speaker" (The Hamilton Review, June 14th, 1918).
Contact: Marika Pirie  


PIRIE George - Newspaper Editor & Proprietor
1799-1870 Guelph
George Pirie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1799. He travelled to Canada in 1817 and 1819c. as an agent for his father who was a ship owner and merchant in Aberdeen. In 1838 he decided to stay permanently in Canada, and bought a farm in the Bon Accord Settlement in Nichol township (near Elora, Ontario). In 1849 he became sole editor and proprietor of the Guelph Herald (a weekly newspaper est. in 1847), and moved to the city of Guelph. The Herald office was located on Wyndham Street in Guelph. He had 15 children - 7 born in Aberdeen, Scotland by his first wife Mary Robieson (died 1840), and 8 born in Guelph, Ontario by his second wife Jane Booth (1842-95). He is buried in Union Cemetery in Guelph, Ontario. He was a well-known in Guelph for his contributions to the St. Andrew's society. He wrote poetry about Canadian patriotism and memories of Scotland. He worked right up until his death, and died July 23rd, 1870 at 72 years of age. His funeral was on July 26th, and all the local businesses were closed down for the day in his honour.
Contact: Marika Pirie  


RANKIN Charles - Deputy Prov. Surveyor
1797-1900 Essex & Grey Counties
Charles Rankin, son of George Rankin and Mary Stuart, was born c. 1797 in Ireland or Montreal (conflicting info). In 1820, when he was appointed Deputy Prov. Surveyor, he resided in Malden Twp. Essex Co. for about 20 years. He surveyed many areas in Ontario. In 1833 he began surveying twps. of Collingwood and St. Vincent (Grey Co) In 1840 he married Elizabeth Leech and lived in Toronto. They had one child Mary. In l850 they moved to Owen Sound. At that time, he was District Surveyor. There are several Historical Plaques erected in his honour. His brother John Rankin, M.D. lived in the Picton area. Brother, George Rankin, M.D. served as an army surgeon in the East India service. Another brother, Arthur Rankin was also a Prov. Land Surveyor, resident of Sandwich, Ontario (Essex Co). Sisters, Susan and Kate were spinsters. Charles died in 1886 in Owen Sound. A member of my family, Sarah Ann DUXBURY, married William RANKIN, son of Charles and Nancy Rankin. In my efforts to establish the connection between Charles Rankin, (b.1806 Ireland) farmer, Grey County and Charles Rankin, Surveyor, Grey County, I have collected a fair amount of information on this prominent surveyor.
Contact: Norma Haines  nmduxbury@rogers.com


REYNOLDS Dominic & James - Early settler
Huron Co
My Great Great Great Grandfather Dominic was one of the first white settlers in Goderich Ontario Huron County. His Grandson James was the warden of the Huron County Jail. It is now a Museum open in the summer.
Contact: Joan  jlomanto@suffolk.lib.ny.us


REYNOLDS John - GTR Station Master
1860's-1920's Brampton, Peel Co
John Reynolds was a station master for the GTR. One day, one of his young sons was playing near the railroad tracks at the station and was in danger of being crushed by a fast moving freight car. A young man risked his life to save the boy and a grateful John Reynolds taught the young man telegraphy. The young man's name was Thomas Alva Edison.
Contact: Sue Phaneuf  phansters@aol.com


RYAN Thomas Francis - Inventor of five pin bowling
Toronto
He was the the "forgetful father of five-pins" The inventor of Five pin bowling in 1908. Is in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Contact: Sion Tracy Ryan Jenkins  sjenkins@ican.net


SANGSTER John Herbert - Head of Toronto Normal School, medical instructor at U of T, educator, authour
1830-1904 Toronto and Port Perry

Contact: John Sangster  John_Sangster@bc.sympatico.ca


SCHWERDTFEGER (Rev) Johan Samuel UEL - Minister
1790-1798 Williamsburg, Dundas Co
A minister of the Lutheran Church in the American Colonies, Rev. Schwerdtfeger remained loyal to the Crown during the Revolution and one of his sons fought with the King's Royal Rangers. Rev. Schwerdtfeger was imprisoned, his property confiscated, and his church sacked because of his anti-revolution preaching. He and his family removed to Upper Canada to serve as the first resident minister of the Lutheran church in Canada [at Williamsburg]. His son, Johan Frederich's tombstone is embedded in the memorial wall in Upper Canada Village. Johan Samuel Schwerdtfeger [1734-1798]. Johan Frederich Schwerdtfeger [1765-1849]
Contact: Donald E. McLatchie  mclatchi@internetwork.net


SIMPSON Obediah - Early settler
1796-1830 Brighton
Obediah and Mary Lord Simpson were the firsts settlers in the Brighton area. They were UEL from North Carolina fighting with Delancys corp. Children settled this area as well as in Prince Edward County, and Dresden, on area.
Contact: allan simpson  allan.simpson@canoemail.com


SMITH George Peter - Politician
1900's Strathroy
George Peter Smith , furtader, Storekeeper,and newspaper owner became the member of legislature for the Camrose area in 1909,in the second election of the province of Alberta under the leadership of Premier Rutherford . In 1917, he was appointed to the cabinet as Provincial Secretary and Minister of Education. In early 1921, he accepted the portfolio of Minister of Health which he held untill the liberals lost the election later that year to the Farmer Government. After his defeat, he returned to Ontario, returning in 1935, to run for the Liberals in the Federal election, but was defeated by the Social Credit Government , and once again , returned to Ontario.
Contact: Barry Hovelson (no relation to the individual)  hovelson@incentre.net


STACEY Charles Perry - Canada's foremost military historian and author
1945-1989 Toronto

Contact: Eunice Robinson  eunice@dccnet.com


STONEY Edward & Thomas - Wesleyan Preacher
1818-1900 Stratford (Perth Co), Burford (Brant Co) & London (Middlesex Co)
Edward Stoney was a Wesleyan Preacher circa 1818 in the Burford area. In 1826 ordained as a Deacon by Bishop Elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Thomas Stoney was Mayor of Stratford and one of the group of six men who in 1845 purchased all the land that the Methodist Churches were built on.
Contact: R'Nita Rogers  rnita@ak.net


STONG Sylvester and Daniel - Builders
1800 Vaughan Twp, York Co
Sylvester (Seward) Stong, his wife Barbary Bolinger Stong and their children, including son Daniel came to Canada from Pennsylvania in 1800. They settled on Lot 12, concession 2, Vaughan Township. The Stongs were instrumental in building the first schools and churches in the area. Daniel's expertise in log construction is preserved in Black Creek Pioneer Village, where visitors can view his homes and outbuildings. The Village is located on land which was once part of the thousand acres the Stongs acquired, cleared and farmed over six generations.
Contact: Carron Coulter  cstars@gowebway.com


SUTHERLAND Donald - Senator
1863-1949 Oxford Co
My Great Grandfather Donald Sutherland was a Senator appointed by Richard Bedford Bennett. When he passed away he was still a member of office.
Contact: tanya pirie  tanyapirie@hotmail.com


TARBUSH/TAR BUSH/ T. BUSH - Founder of Angus, ON
1820-1950 Simcoe Co
Jonas Tarbush, founder of Angus, ON. b. about 1815 in US. Came to Canada with brother John Lewis. Both were married in Collingwood in 1855/56. Jonas married Margret Desmarais. Had 9 children and one son, Henry Lou was the postmaster of Angus from 1890 until Sept. 1947
Contact: KerryAnne Thomas  farmhse.publishing@sk.sympatico.ca


THISTLE John A. - First postmaster of Thistletown
mid -1800s Thistletown, Etobicoke, Ontario
The town was named after this family. JOHN ALEXANDER THISTLE b. 1831 (Caledon, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland) d. Mar 8, 1871 (Brampton, On) m. Mar 1, 1866 (Christ Church, Brampton, On). ELLEN "NELLIE" WIGLEY b. July 10, 1834 (Uttotexeter, England) d. Oct 25, 1895 (Victoria, BC). John was the eldest child of Dr. Wm. (1791-1856)& Phoebe (Pringle)Thistle, of Thistletown, On.--they had 3 others. Ellen was the child of Josiah & Mary Anne (Steele) Wigley. (her brother married John's niece, Marion Louisa Green). John was the first postmaster of Thistletown (July 6, 1851-June 9, 1855). According to Esther Heyes' book, Etobicoke from Furrow to Burough (1974) p. 74: "The village of Thistletown was given that name in 1847. A Post Office bearing the name St. Andrew's was established in that year, but mail addressed to St. Andrews, Etobicoke, frequently found its way to St. Andrews, NB. Postal authorities advised a change of name, and Thistletown was chosen in honour of Dr. Wm. Thistle, a greatly respected medical practioner in the district, and his son John Thistle, the first postmaster." In 1851, his occupation was listed as 'storekeeper', according to the Etobicoke Census. In 1866 he was in business with the general merchant firm, Hughes & Thistle, located on the corner of Main St., & Queen, Brampton, Peel Co., On ---According to Fuller's Directory for Brampton 1866. John was a wealthy grainbuyer, and Justice of the Peace (JP). They lived in a large 17 bedroom home called the "Castle", on Queen St, Brampton, On. It was built in 1851. John died from a pistol shot (suicide). He had no children. John & his parents are buried in St. Phillips-0n-the-Hill Anglican Church Cemetery, Weston, Etobicoke, On.
Contact: George Russell  calvary@sgci.com


THOMAS William - Architect & City Engineer
1843-1860 Toronto
Architect, City Engineer in Toronto and elsewhere. Churches, Cathedrals, Don Gaol among others. Born in Suffolk, UK in 1799 arrived in Toronto in 1843 with wife and ten children. Two sons William Tutin THOMAS and Cyrus Pole THOMAS followed in his footsteps.
Contact: David Thomas  thomasdavid@blueyonder.co.uk


TIFFANY Gideon - Editor & Early settler
1792-1854 Ancaster Twp, Wentworth Co & Delaware Twp, Middlesex Co
Gideon Tiffany was the second editor of the Upper Canada Gazeete or American Oricle. He is recognized as one of the early pioneers of Delaware Township in Middlesex County having purchased some 3500 acres of land from Ebenezer Allan. He also suggested to have been a joint publisher of a paper called the Canadian Constellation with his brother Sylvester Tiffany. He was graduate of Dartmouth
Contact: Thomas O. Tiffany  tttot@aol.com


TILLSON Family - Founders of Tillsonburg, ON
1822+ Tillsonburg, Dereham Twp, Oxford Co
Founded Tillsonburg, Dereham Twp, Oxford County in 1824 as Dereham Forge. E.D. Tillson, son of founder George Tillson, went on to build the town as well as serve as mayor
Contact: Sherri Pettit  genealogy@geneofun.on.ca


TULLY Kivas - Architect
1840's-1901 York Co
Architect for several churches, Victoria Hall, Toronto, York County, civil engineer for Dept. of Water? Involved in locks along waterways I believe. 1840's-1901, when passed away
Contact: Lorri Bunn  lorrib@cmc.net


VAN NORMAN Family - Founders of Normandale, ON; Proprietors of Van Norman Stoves
1822+ Norfolk Co
Founded Normandale (1822), Charlotteville Twp, Norfolk County as well as a short lived Iron Furnace in Marmora, Marmora Twp, Hastings County in the 1830's. Most well known is Joseph the founder, but brother Benjamin was very prominent in Tillsonburg, Dereham Twp, Oxford County, and son George Robinson Van Norman was a well known barrister in Toronto, Hamilton and Brantford
Contact: The Van Norman Family Association  http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vnfa/index.html


WADE Robert - Merchant
mid 1800's Orillia
Was a successful merchant in Orillia in the mid 1800's
Contact: Rick Call  RICNROC@worldnet.att.net


WALKER Joseph - Founder of Walkerton
1857-1871 Bruce Co
Joseph Walker, the founder of Walkerton, Ont. came into Bruce Co. in 1850. He built an Inn, two bridges and part of a road. As a consequence, he and his son, William Walker were granted free lots in 1851 and they later bought adjoining property on which the City of Walkerton is now located. He built a sawmill in 1852 and a grist mill in 1853. The name of Brant Post Office was changed to Walkerton in 1857. In 1866, Walkerton was proclaimed the county town of Bruce County, and incorporated as a town in 1871
Contact: Lois Leggott  gleggott@vip.net


WEIR James Muir Tanner - Member of York County Council
1880-1973 Scarborough
Street names for Weir. On council when Vivian Forest was planted to save the soil. In 1920's with families starving, some help was arranged to help these people. An old age home was opened to shelter and help the elderley of Malvern Area. Would help the unemployed and gipseys who squatted on his farm, to get a job and a place to live. Lost his own farm, when he could not pay his mortgage, having 7 children to support, during the 1930's. A kind, generous man who refused bribes while on council.
Contact: Carol Trollope  900530@ican.net


WILDS - Prominent in insurance in Toronto in 1900
1900 Toronto

Contact: J.T. Reid  gamagoat@aol.com


WILLSON John, UEL - Operator of the King's Mill in Humber Valley in the late 1700's.
1700's

Contact: Janet Wallace  jantique@greatlakes.net


WRIGHT Philomen - Lumber Baron
Carleton Co
One of the original Lumber Barons who established Wrightville (Ottawa Valley) and who was honoured at Renfrew's Lumber Baron Festival July 13, 14 and 15, 2000. See lumberbaron@renc.igs.net for details.
Contact: Margarita Giroux  mgiroux@renfrew.net

Finding something on this website
________________________________
Ontario genealogy resources
________________________________
Finding a place in Ontario
________________________________
Overcoming a brick wall
________________________________
A question about research
________________________________
Posting a query
________________________________
Searching outside Ontario, but still in Canada
________________________________
Searching outside Canada
________________________________
The meaning of a word
________________________________
Finding others researching my surname
________________________________
How to research a specific area in Ontario
________________________________
Genealogy Forms
________________________________
OntarioGenWeb Mailing List
________________________________
None of the above

Return to top of page